Magicians are a fun breed. Whilst thinking about it the other day, I realised that a lot of my friends who perform magic are amazingly creative in ways other than the tricks and illusions they are known for. I thought that this might be an interesting thing to talk about today, letting you know a bit about what they do to express themselves other than messing with the minds of Muggles.
Firstly Paul Roffman is a magician and mentalist who is well known and respected both in London and around the globe. Yet if you follow him on Twitter or Instagram – which I advise you do for him and all the magicians here – you are just as likely to see him playing the guitar as you are performing magic. On top of that he’s a known and respected actor and voice artist. Impressive.
One of my best friends within the industry is Brendan Rodrigues. A lot of people like to describe magic as an ‘art’, but Brendan is one of the few magicians I know who can really be said to elevate their craft to that level. You would expect the 2016 Magic Circle champion to be a gifted magician, but his creativity doesn’t just manifest that way. There are few men his sartorial confidence and flare, and when he gets dressed in the morning he isn’t just putting on clothes, he’s painting on a canvas. In addition he’s also starting to show he’s got a great eye for photography.
Another magician who likes to dress with a bit of flamboyance is Dee Riley. Whereas Brendan’s paint pallet is his wardrobe, Dee’s is far more literal. Using pencils he produces beautiful works of art; portraits, caricature, and cartoons.
That’s what some of my friends do, and it's a privlidge knowing such talanted people. But what about me? Whilst I don’t think of myself as this level of artist, I’ve also got an additional creative outlet, though it is a tad niche. Every year I spend more money than I should on pumpkins. I love carving them. I set myself little tasks each time. This year my ‘little’ task led to quite a few restless nights. However I did manage to carve each of the 14 Doctors!
Whether it’s art, fashion, or sculpting various squash, it’s great to have an outlet for creativity other than what you do for a living. On Friday I was on the tube after a gig. Traveling back I was messing about with some cards and the lady next to me told me how much she loves magic. I showed her a few little tricks and then asked if she had ever thought of doing it herself.
“Oh no way. I could never do anything like that.”
It made me sad. Magic is a great hobby. I really do believe that anyone can do magic, it’s simply a question of finding a style you enjoy, and then practicing. So, if you’re interested in getting into magic give it a go. Christmas is around the corner, so there will be plenty of things in shops. I have friends who say that Dynamo’s latest book is a great introduction to learning magic, and there are loads of other books and DVDs available, as well as classes you can take. A quick google search will quickly reveal plenty of ways to get into a hobby that will literally change the way you look at the world.
You can see more of my pumpkin carving here.